Whew, I'm still completely occupied by the NBA playoffs. But the good news is that I'm back for a quick post! But first, I need to get something critical off my chest...
Although I'll always be a "LakerGal4Life" (that's my screen name when Phoenix or New Orleans aren't playing), I have to say that the Houston Rockets were robbed last night by miserable officiating. Those NBA refs are about as anti-Ron Artest as you can get! Here's my post-game commentary: There's no way that Artest committed a flagrant foul, especially when Vujacic got away with a lot worse earlier in the evening. Thankfully, the Rockets aren't one of "my" teams, otherwise, I would probably be bed-ridden right now.
...But seriously, enough of the irrelevant ranting about corrupt NBA refs, I need to post already! This is called a food blog after all.
For today's post, I'd love to share one of my favorite salad recipes for Vietnamese green papaya salad. I actually don't consider this a "salad" per se, but a cooling, delicate slaw.
Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad (Goi Du Du)
1 large green papaya, with skin peeled away with a vegetable peeler
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a grater
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 scallion, finely minced
1/4 cup of high-quality fish sauce
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of lime juice (or the juice from 2 to 3 limes)
1/4 tsp of lime zest
2 Thai bird chilies, sliced cross-wise (optional)
roasted cashews or peanuts, to garnish
basil or cilantro, to garnish
First, peel the hard green papaya with a vegetable peeler (if you haven't done so already). Then, cut the papaya in half, lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape away all of the seeds from the inside. Now, you can either use a fancy mandolin or a knife to finely julienne the papaya into thin matchstick-sized strips. You want the strips to be as narrow as possible, so that they can absorb the bright salad dressing. However, I would advise against using a shredder here, because shredded papaya makes the salad look a tad sloppy and unrefined.
However, you can shred the carrots with a regular grater because the green papaya is the star of this slaw, while the carrots are almost an afterthought.
Meanwhile, combine the lime juice, lime zest, fish sauce, garlic, scallions, Thai bird chilies, and sugar with a whisk, making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved. Drizzle the finished dressing over the shredded carrots and julienned papaya strips, and stir well to combine. You can serve this immediately, or marinate it in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. This slaw keeps in the fridge for up to a week. When you serve it, just strain away the excess dressing.
Finally, serve the slaw with cilantro or basil, and roasted cashews or peanuts as garnish, and enjoy!